Cliff and I figured the temperatures were right for a long motorcycle ride today. We discussed destinations, and Cliff mentioned my cousin Gerald. That was OK by me. Headed up the road later, he said to me, "So, where do you want to go?"
"I thought we were going to see Gerald," I answered.
"We can; I just thought I'd ask."
"Well you know, I have a couple of aunts in Bethany I don't see often."
"OK," Cliff says. "We can go there."
So that was our destination. On the way, though, we passed through a town where a friend and co-worker of Cliff's lives. Don has been off work for some time, having had some sort of surgery. Cliff wondered if we should stop by; I said, "Why not?"
Now you'd have to meet Don to really understand how much he belongs in the early 1800's on the frontier. This man lives to hunt, trap, and fish. He doesn't just talk about it, like so many men: He gets out there and does it daily, when his job isn't cutting in on the action.
These two guys have worked at five different places of employment together. Don's son, John Daniel, got his middle name from Cliff.
Don and John have all sorts of dogs for different occasions: Rabbit dogs...
a squirrel dog who, when they turned him out of his cage, was too fast for me to photograph;
a twelve-year-old coon hound...
Not to mention another younger coon hound, and the Chow they picked up along a roadside as a pup that serves as the family pet, and isn't usually in a cage.
So we had a nice little visit there before we got back on the road north to visit the aunts.
Here's Aunt Mary, my mom's youngest brother's wife, who is still stoically living alone in her own house.
I spent many happy hours as a child at Uncle Leo's and Aunt Mary's farm. One of her grandchildren, John, was visiting today.
Then to the nursing home to say hello to Aunt Gladys, my dad's only sister, and the only remaining sibling. She is in the same nursing home where my mother stayed until her death. She's blind, and I put her hand on my leather chaps so she could feel them. She sang me a song from long ago about leather breeches, and then we talked about all the silly little dirty songs my dad used to sing.
Both these ladies are so very fragile; visiting them makes me aware of the fact that I'm not so far behind them. I realize one day I will be like they are now, unless fate hastens my death.
It was another good day, well spent.
One notable thing: it was cloudy here at home all day; 100 miles to the north, where we were, the sun was shining. That's one way to get a sunny day: Just ride to it.